By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) has declared it will sue the Federal Government of Nigeria over the exclusion of the South East in the appointment made into the Board of Directors (BODs) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The appointment is discriminatory, the organization alleged.
HURILAWS expressed this intention in a letter it wrote to Dr. Shettima Abba, the Acting Chairman of Federal Character Commission.
The letter was dated 9th September, 2017 with the subject-heading: “Re: Appointment Of Board Of Directors Of The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.”
In it, HURILAWS pointed out that three members of the Board are from the North East, while the South East has no representation.
“This is a clear violation of the Federal Character principle enshrined in Section 14 (3) of the Constitution to ensure proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government in Nigeria,” HURILAWS wrote.
It warned that it will institute legal proceedings if correction is not made after seven days from the date of the letter.
HURILAWS said to Abba : “As you well know, the function of the Federal Character Commission in Section 4 (1) (b) of the Federal Character Commission Act CAP F7 LFN 2004 is to monitor, promote and enforce compliance with the Federal Character principle by ensuring that each region of Nigeria is fairly represented at all levels of government.
The law body, therefore, requested the Commission to compel the federal government to comply with the Constitution in the appointment of the Board of Directors of the NNPC.
“By denying the South East representation in the Board of an important national corporation like NNPC,” HURILAWS argued, “the federal government has discriminated against the South East by subjecting citizens from the South East to disabilities or restrictions which other regions of Nigeria are not subject.”
HURILAWS told the Federal Character Commission leader to advise the federal government to correct the imbalance by adhering to the rule of the Commission.
The law, HURILAWS stressed, made it clear that “the composition of the agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few state or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in the government or in any of its agencies.” xxx